Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back in the day . . .

Is anyone else bugged when figure skaters cover up their skates with their tights? I don't like the way that looks and I really wish they would knock it off. Ladies skates should be white - ALWAYS - and men's skates should be black. Case closed.

I decided to experiment with making taco bowls for dinner. I didn't bother to look up any instructions, so it's no shock they didn't turn out quite right. I deep fried the flour tortillas and then hung them over mason jars to form. They didn't get as crispy as I had hoped, but they still turned out good, no one complained, and every last one of them was eaten.

I've been staying up way too late watching Olympics coverage and thus neglected the blog. That's not all I've been neglecting, but that's how some weeks go. Today was "Student Led Conferences" (or as we like to call them - "True Confessions") out at the Jr. High. The good thing about them is they are quick and painless, unless there happens to be a lot to confess. We didn't even meet with any teachers this time because all of Taylor's grades are good. Thanks to the beauty of modern technology, I get an email every Monday morning with a detailed report of her grades in every class as well as attendance. It's a beautiful thing for a parent, but a terrible drag for a kid. Thankfully, there was none of that when I was attending school. There was the dreaded robo-call from the school computer reporting tardies and/or absences, but that was easily remedied by intercepting the phone call which typically came in around 4:30 p.m., before my parents got home from work. There was also the mid- and end-of-term failing notices that came in the mail. I only got one once, but again, easily intercepted and hidden away from the parents.

Next month is registration for next year. High school! How did that happen? I can't believe she'll be in high school! That blows my mind. And then she announced to me that she doesn't think she wants to sing next year. I hope she changes her mind.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ok, you only need to wear it when Aunt Lari visits

An iconic scene. Poor little Ralphie's Aunt Clara labored under the false impression that he was not only perpetually four years old, but also a girl. So when he got this embarrassment of a Christmas gift, and his dad said he looked like a deranged Easter bunny, Ralphie's mom responded that he only needed to wear the suit when Aunt Clara visited.
I am well on my way to becoming Aunt Clara. My poor little neices and nephews (and some grown ups as well) are constantly subjected to my home made gifts. I don't know what becomes of them after they are opened. Maybe their mothers also tell them, it's ok. You only need to wear it when Aunt Lari visits. But since we live in a world that's all about me - or at least we SHOULD all live in a world that's all about me - I will continue to make the gifts, because it brings me joy. And these poor little neices and nephews will one day have excellent stories to tell their own children about their Crazy Aunt Lari and all the crap that came their way year in and year out. So see - I am giving them the gift of storytelling, if nothing else.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What I've been working on

Remember, Christmas is coming . . .

I've tried to put my Olympic watching time to good use. I just finished up this project. It used some cool metalic threads that don't show up very well in a photograph. Remember, I like shiny things.

I finished this one last month. It was a nice, quick, easy project after The Never Ending Project and some of the others I've done in my cross-stitch career. I've decided I need to do more things like this. I'm too old to deal with the frustration that comes with the more complicated ones.

Monday, February 15, 2010

On the Mend

After nearly a week of believing I would cough up a lung at any moment, and having not coughed up said lung, I finally feel like I am on the mend. My coughing fits are reduced to only a few a day. I can even take deep breaths without triggering one! It's all very exciting and a huge relief to be feeling better.

I have almost even got my groove back and finally prepared a meal for the first time in over a week. Thank goodness Grandma was coming or I probably would have found an excuse to not prepare dinner and declare it Cereal Night again.

I coated my chicken breasts with my homemade ranch, mixed with a little tobasco and cayenne. Then I topped that with bacon and cheese and baked it. It was perfectly moist and tasted really good. I should have covered it while I baked it so the cheese looked prettier.

I also made some fresh pico de gallo because I really like that on my rice. I sprinkled just a little bit of cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes in the pico this time and it added a nice kick, but not too much.

Then I topped the chicken with fresh green onion after I took it out of the oven, since everything should have green onion on it.
For FHE we just took it easy and enjoyed the Olympics. Lane and Jack really moan when the figure skating is on. Lane doesn't think that figure skating is a real sport since it is judged, and thinks that they could really increase men's interest in the sport if the figure skaters had to do their routines while being shot at. That would turn it into a real sport, he says. If they live, they win.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I can breathe again

I had a pretty good & productive day. I finally found some OTC medication to help with the congestion. Ahhh - breathing is good. I helped Addie get her Valentine box made, got Taylor out to piano, got my hair cut, indexed several batches of the Kentucky census 1910, and finished and submitted my taxes. Everything went very smoothly with the Turbo Tax once I got the confirmation number issue resolved. I think this may be TT's most user friendly version yet. Maybe I'll have to reconsider my earlier anger since it did go so smoothly. I didn't even swear once. Ok, maybe once, but that's all, and in my defense it was yesterday when I was having that whole installation problem. If only I had set up visiting teaching appointments, I would have completed every single thing on my list. That's a good day. And did I mention I could finally breathe?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Payson Temple

Lane sent me this. It was called "An artist rendering of the new Payson Temple." It gave me a much needed laugh. Sorry, Heather, but you will have to laugh too.

After years of being a loyal Turbo Tax user, last year I used Tax Act Online instead. I had heard rumors of changes Intuit/Turbo Tax was making to their software that made me angry and I decided to protest on principle's sake. The Tax Act Online was ok, not quite so user friendly as Turbo Tax, but it worked ok. The problem with it is it's a pay per use thing. So I had to pay before I could print or efile, then I had to pay the efiling fee, and then all again for the State package. I don't think that, when all was said and done, I saved any money at all, and I was frustrated because I help some neices and nephews with taxes and I had to figure them by hand because they didn't want to pay the per-use fee. So knowing that, I decided this year I would go back to Turbo Tax. I got my software, and during the installation my computer spontaneously rebooted. After it came back up, I tried to continue the install, but it told me I had to remove it first and then re-install. So I uninstalled and reinstalled, gathered all my paperwork together, and I was ready to go. Whoa!! Not so fast!!! Intuit Turbo Tax decided that I had pirated the software because of the reinstall and wouldn't let me proceed. It told me I had to call customer support with my serial number to get a new confirmation code to proceed. OK, fine. Whatever. It's a pain and a bother, but I'll do what it says. Call the customer support. Wait. . . wait . . . still waiting . . .then I notice that it says on my computer where it shows the customer support number that the office hours are 9 to 5. It's 6:30. My questions are two: 1) Since most people are gone during the day, wouldn't it be good PR during the tax season to have hours until later in the day? and 2) why didn't any of the automated menus I went through at customer service ever say "our offices are now closed" instead of just "your call is important to us . . ." I was all psyched up and ready for the dreary task of doing the taxes only to be put off for another day or more. It's exactly this kind of crap that people complained about and led to me not purchasing TT last year. I guess they figure that since they are the best known that people will just put up with crap. OH, and get this, when I went to the Intuit web site to give them a piece of my mind, the only "contact us" link led to Tina their Automated Customer support rep or FAQs. I couldn't find any place to send them an email saying "WTH??" After this year, Turbo Tax has lost me as a customer permanently.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What's in a name

So now I am finally relieved of the body aches and fever, only to be replaced by head congestion and a sore throat. My handy-dandy nasal spray is helping with the nasal congestion, but the tylenol isn't helping too much with the sore throat. Hopefully it won't hang around too long. The cough is still persisting - seems the cough is always the last thing to go.

I had to go to the bank today, so since I was already out and about, I stopped at Walmart for my Turbo Tax. I really have to psych myself up to do the taxes, so that might still be a few days away. Here's my pet peeve of the day: I was in line at Walmart with my 4 items (turbo tax and 3 apple juice concentrates), and the person ahead of me in line has WAY MORE than her allowed 10 (or whatever) items, but tells the cashier it's ok, because she has to pay for everything seperately, therefore since each purchase is less than 10 items, it's ok. Um . . . NO!!! And she had a different envelope of cash for each purchase (and by cash, I mean mostly change) and it took FOREVER for her to check out. Annoying!

But enough of the whining. Since I wasn't feeling well, I made bean and bacon soup for dinner with cheddar bay biscuits. I made extra basting butter, so I could really slather it on there (just call me Mrs. Butterton) and they were so good. Surely there is some healing power in butter, right?

Back to the non-whining concept. I decided when I sat down to post this blog that I would try to find one thing that makes me smile in order to offset all the whining, and here's what I came up with. Addie comes up with the funniest names for her dolls and animals. I think I've written about that before. But as a refresher, she has Iddy, Clova, Snorda, Number One, and Doris (not a weird name, but Doris always referred to as "he" even though Addie insists it's a girl). Addie got a new doll for Christmas and she has been unable to come up with an appropriate name for the doll, until a few days ago. It may be the best name of them all: BEZODI.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Flu has arrived

Addie was the first one to get the flu, that's why I took her to the doctor. The Dr. didn't give a name to her flu. Whether it's seasonal or H1N1, I don't know. Does it matter? Flu is flu and it's miserable. I kept her home from school through the week. She perked right up although she still has some cough, but it's not nearly so chest-y and chunky sounding.

So on Friday, it becomes my turn. The shop where I work is always cold, except in the summer when it's too hot. The building was built 100-ish years ago, for crying out loud. It's drafty. Don't even get me started on the beyond-description coldness of the bathroom during the winter months. So on Friday when I started to get a little cold despite all my layers of clothes, I didn't think too much about it. But as the morning wore on, and I got colder, and even putting my coat on didn't help at all, I thought I might be getting sick. The little nagging headache I had waking up had turned into a screaming headache, and the minutes ticked by as hours. When the clock struck 2 I was outta there. I ran screaming out of the building, into my van where I turned on the heat full blast, and home, where I tried to find warmth on the couch under 2 blankets. Nope. Still freezing. My head was so heavy I couldn't even bear to lift it up off the couch. So I laid there and shivered from 2:03 until Lane got up, when I was able to comandeer my bed.

Lane was so good to me though. He went off to Kneaders and got me some delicious (and HOT) soup. And then he left me alone. Which was just what I needed. Not to be bugged. I didn't sleep well because as soon as I got a little bit warm and drifted off to sleep, I woke up sweating and on fire. Then I would have to get up, get a cold washcloth, sponge off, and try to get to sleep again, only to drift off and wake up freezing cold and violently shivering.

So Saturday I laid around all day, never got out of my jammies. Never brushed my teeth. Just tried to stay warm or cool, whatever the moment called for. I had Sharing Time on Sunday, but I was JUST SURE I would be feeling better by Sunday, so I refused to ask for a replacement.

Yeah, bad plan. Luckily, since the Church provides pretty much a full Sharing Time outline now, I had to do very little legwork, and it was a very easy Sharing Time, AND we were short on time in both Jr. and Sr. Primary. I sat while I gave the lesson, and the kids were very understanding and reverent while I tried to get through it. Later that afternoon was Cub Committee Meeting and the Priesthood Preview, but I was feeling some better, so I went.

I never learn. By the time evening rolled around I was feeling just as crappy as I was on Friday. I should have just stayed home and rested. Nope. Not me. Can't ask for help. I'm so stupid.

So now we're on to Monday. I woke up feeling mostly ok. I slept mostly ok. But again as the day has worn on, I have gotten very cold. I took my temp and the fever is still hanging on. I can't breathe and I get winded walking around. I can't stand for very long.

This is just ridiculous. My house is a pig sty. The laundry didn't get done over the weekend. I'm trying to do it now, but it's exhausting to move the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. I guess we'll just have to live like slobs for a few more days.

But on the good side, Lane went to the grocery store for me on Saturday morning. Please understand, this is a huge deal. Not that he can't do the grocery shopping, but because the control freak in me won't allow him to do the grocery shopping. He doesn't compare prices and do the math to get the best unit pricing. He just gets what we need. So while he was at the store he thought ahead and bought stuff for easy meals for the next few days that even the kids could make if need be. He's the best.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I am an Anti-Dentite

I hate the dentist. HATE the dentist. Actually, he's a very nice man - I don't hate HIM. I hate the whole concept of the dentist. It's just an extremely miserable way to spend 30 minutes of my life. So miserable, in fact, is the dentist that I would rather go once a week to the doctor for THAT exam than go to the dentist twice a year. I'm not kidding. I hate it just that much. But I have survived another trip to the dentist, and now I'm in the clear until August.

I finally got around to getting my flu shots today. I know, it's pathetic. I had Addie to the doctor since she's been sick, and since we were there, we got the shots. Both of them. At once. Whatever one went into my right arm is so sore. I can barely lift my arm. I've been rubbing it, but that hurts badly enough that I don't rub it for very long. My left arm is great.

It was pretty funny, though. When the nurse came in with the syringes for the shots, Addie told her, "Make sure you use the mini-needle on me, and don't push so hard as you did last time!" The nurse told her there were no mini-needles, so Addie said, "Well then, make sure you use the smaller needle on me, and the bigger one on my mom." The nurse said they were both the same size. Addie again, "Just make sure I get the smaller needle, that's all." The nurse finally gave in and responded that she would make sure to use the "smaller" needle. I laughed at how Addie was giving the orders, fully expecting to be obeyed.

I got Cruise 2010 booked, only 285 days away!! Whoo Hoo!

Monday, February 1, 2010

What I missed yesterday

This is the card I got from Heather. It just makes me laugh so hard - I mean seriously, look at the height of that hair! Oh, the 80's were a beautiful time. The inside of the card read, "Happy Birthday from one former ozone ruiner to another." It's so, so true.

Here is the picture of all of us from 1989. This was at the end of the year Inagural Ball, my first big date with Lane. We all took a minute from our dates to get a picture together, and I'm so glad we did! What a treasure to have this picture of us! Working clockwise from the front row: Heather, Tricia, Lori, KyLee, Becky and me.

And then again the picture of all of us, nearly 21 years later (it hurts SO MUCH to say that), from the left: Becky, Tricia, me, KyLee, and Heather.
We have 17 kids between all of us. Becky, Tricia, Heather and I all met our spouses at Snow College while we lived together. We all waited for our guys on their missions, yes, ALL OF US, and Becky and Heather even convinced those guys to wait while they served missions. A pretty good bunch of old hens, if I do say so myself.